Group of Death reaches dramatic climax

02.07.2019 - Hamburg

Here’s what went down in Pool F with all four teams aiming to reach the elimination stage…

It was dubbed the Group of Death at the start – and in the end that’s exactly how it ended up as the men’s Pool F went down to the wire on a dramatic Tuesday afternoon.

All four teams went into the day needing a victory to keep their hopes of reaching the elimination stage alive.

In the end it was Canadians Ben Saxton and Grant O’Gorman and 2013 champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands, who both squeezed directly through to the last 32 with straight sets wins.

Saxton and O’Gorman saw off Argentina’s Julian Azaad and Nicholas Capogrosso 21-14, 21-19 to book themselves top place in the pool and send the South Americans home.

It was tough on Azaad and Capogrosso, eliminated by 20 points after achieving what they believed to be their best ever result on Sunday when they beat Brouwer/Meeuwsen. This world championship really takes no prisoners.

The match between Brouwer and Meeuwsen and Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena inside the Red Bull Beach Arena had the feel of a big finale, yet it was a tussle to decide their fate in the pool.

In the end the 21-19, 21-15 victory for the Dutchmen ensured they joined the Canadians in the draw for the round of the 32 and consigned Nick and Phil in a lucky loser play-off for the first time in their World Champs careers.

A delighted Brouwer said afterwards: “We did what we had to do but what pleased me most was we did it playing with passion and heart. We put everything on the table and I think we played every card. To win against a team as good as Nick and Phil is very special.

“After losing to Argentina we had a day to reflect on what was one of our worst ever matches but we prepared, spent some time with family and had a good training session. It shows just how much can be done in two days.”

2008 champ Dalhausser now faces the prospect of being eliminated before the round of the 32.

“I wish I knew what was going on,” said the Thin Beast. “It hasn’t been smooth. Sideout was our problem but put simply we have not got into a rhythm since we got here.”

The teams will find out who they face when the draw takes place on Wednesday.